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Seven Nightly News -

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(generated from captions) Tonight - A Seven News exclusive -

during Sydney's race riots. the police no-go zone

is linked to ethnic unrest. Fears a church arson attack pleads with Peter Falconio's killer And Joanne Lees to reveal where he hid the body. This program is LIVE captioned. This is Seven News with Chris Bath. Good evening. of going soft on a gang Sydney police have been accused suspected of involvement through Cronulla. in Monday night's violent rampage obtained exclusively by Seven News A leaked document reveals officers were ordered on a big gathering at Punchbowl not to move in from frightened locals. despite a triple-0 call On Monday night on the mosque at Lakemba. police and media were focused in Punchbowl But just around the corner there was another crowd gathering.

scared residents called triple-0. A group so menacing, POLICE SCANNER: Punchbowl Park. leaked to Seven News Now, a police incident report were ordered to steer clear. shows how police It states -

would be shocked. I think anybody seeing this document

in New South Wales Ethnic crime gangs

under the Labor government. have been a protected species That's the real problem. Hours later, they did move in scrawled on the road, including - photographing messages

But the crowd had left long before. Cronulla looked like this. That morning

Police are frustrated, are certainly disappointed and police with the government's direction they fear for their lives, and, occasionally, in these situations That's understandable these thugs. where they're confronting

Commissioner was talking tough. Today, though, the Deputy the same command and control system ANDREW SCIPIONE: We're running

for a terrorist situation. as we would we're taking it. That's how seriously wouldn't respond on camera Police Minister Carl Scully to this leaked report, but his spokesman said not politicians. it's an issue for police, Police aren't ruling out

on two churches at Auburn last night a link between attacks and this week's racial unrest. it will be a very sad day Religious leaders say

lead to sectarian violence. if scuffles at the beach FIRE ALARM RINGS This church hall was heritage-listed. it didn't stand a chance. Made of weatherboard, SIRENS WAIL a Tongan Christian parish. It belonged to next door was the target. Witnesses thought an Islamic school It's a school, man. Kids go there.

Out of all places, why the school? But investigators insist wanted the church destroyed. whoever started the fire appearance were seen close by. Four young men of Middle Eastern They are also thought responsible at another church for smashing 18 windows just two blocks away. be able to speak to the media, Senior police, who would normally have been gagged this morning Fire Brigade. and so has the New South Wales

after the fire began, Nearly three hours nobody is saying a thing

try to control a situation as authorities that's spiralling out of control. to bring themselves to concede It took authorities all day racially motivated attacks. they believe these were to churches at this time. Special attention will be paid

parishioners are in despair... Less than two weeks from Christmas,

And it's very upsetting. something like this, you know? It's so sad to see somehow, it was just an accident. ..still hoping, what might have happened, as well. I want to keep an open mind as to Religious leaders are uniting to remain just that. with a plea for all sacred places both of us lost a lot Today I feel that

and we hurt badly as a community, Muslims and Christians. to southern beach suburbs last night Calm returned the area into a virtual fortress. as hundreds of police transformed racially motivated attacks continued, But elsewhere, after saying they were Australian. with victims targeted The peninsula in lock-down - hundreds of police stopping vehicles into Sutherland Shire. coming over the bridges

at present. Just finding out where people live this evening. We don't want any more trouble And there wasn't. The beachside suburbs stayed quiet. So did Lakemba. as a victory - Police aren't putting it down just a break, for now. I call that in-your-face policing. scores and scores of vehicles. We were pulling over Some were arrested. Four in total. This man for carrying a knife. Put your left arm out! POLICE OFFICER: MAN: I didn't do anything! between Lebanese community leaders There were also talks volunteers. and the North Cronulla Surf Club struck elsewhere. But an alarming new style of violence by two car-loads of men This man was attacked in Ryde. as he pulled up outside his home

They said, "Are you an Australian?" He said, "Yes", hopped out of the car and with that three or four of them

and started bashing the car.

at Castle Hill. There was a similar attack suffered cuts to his face and arm. A young man people shouldn't be intimidated The Premier says they should only give one answer - and, if confronted, "Australian, and proud of it." And they're not going to, or with those sorts of questions, with baseball bats change the response they get.

hot spots again tonight, 450 police will be in the city's towards the weekend. and that could increase

to seize mobile phones and cars New powers to allow them when parliament's recalled tomorrow. will be debated

of this week's riots, As Cronulla counts the cost their losses will top $500,000. small businesses estimate from beachfront shops Summer crowds have disappeared and tourists have cancelled holidays, putting jobs in jeopardy.

The beaches are empty. The cafes are deserted.

beachside car parks, And in Cronulla's Kombi vans are outnumbered by cop cars. There's virtually more police down here than people. David Haque's seafood restaurant should be jumping with diners, but he's had 200 cancellations and business is down at least 75%. Well, if this goes on like this, we have to close the doors -

simple as that. I can't afford to pay my rent or wage or any bills at all.

Restaurants on this strip are estimated to have lost $500,000. The Alley Break Cafe closed three hours early last night for fear of trouble, and business is struggling today. The majority of the locals actually were appalled by what happened on Sunday and we just want it to be a safe place for families. and we just want it to be a safe place for families.

In the winter we do it quite tough, and summer's the time when we make our money and pay our bills. CityRail has doubled the number of transit officers on the Cronulla line. But that's not the only consequence of the riots. Shops are closing early.

Things are so bad that, at the popular Cronulla RSL, a wedding has been cancelled for Sunday. The bride just didn't want her big day ruined by hooligans. I understand where's she's coming from, I totally understand. It's her big day.

But with more than 700 cancellations for one weekend, it's got to hurt. To other news now, and an outback drug-runner has been convicted of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio in the Northern Territory four years ago. Seven's Jessica Adamson was in court for the verdict. Jess, there's now only one unanswered question. Chris, while Joanne Lees and the Falconio family have welcomed the conviction of Bradley Murdoch, they've pleaded with the killer

to now reveal where Peter's body is hidden.

A jury of six men and six women wrote the final chapter in one of Australia's most intriguing murder mysteries. The main players emerged, united in relief. I'm obviously delighted with the unanimous verdict given here today. The past four years have been very traumatic for myself and for the Falconio family. Bradley John Murdoch showed no emotion as the guilty verdicts were read

for murdering Peter Falconio and abducting and assaulting Joanne Lees. Shaking and crying, Lees slumped into the arms of Paul Falconio, covering her face with her hands. Peter's parents, Joan and Luciano, wept. Today's not a celebration for us. We have waited over four years for this day. One vital question remains unanswered. The most important thing to my family now is to find Peter's body. I would like Bradley John Murdoch to seriously consider telling me, Joan and Luciano and Pete's brothers, what he has done with Pete. But that's not likely. A self-confessed drug-runner, Murdoch was acquitted of abducting and raping a 12-year-old South Australian girl two years ago.

His obsession with weapons was frightening.

Police found a collection of guns and knives, night-vision goggles, rope and rubber gloves. If he hadn't left his biological calling card, DNA on Joanne Lees' T-shirt, there is every chance he'd still be free. Murdoch will serve at least 20 years here at Darwin's Berrimah Prison. He'll be nearly 70 by the time he walks out.

In the circumstances, as you would appreciate, there's really nothing more I can properly say. So, thank you. Merry Christmas. Bradley Murdoch will spend at least 20 years

in Darwin's Berrimah Prison. The judge will decide tomorrow when he will be eligible for parole after hearing victim impact statements.

Chris. Thanks, Jessica. Jessica Adamson in Darwin. London's High Court has cleared the way for accused war criminal Australian David Hicks

to be freed from Guantanamo Bay. It's ruled Hicks is eligible for a UK passport and should get the same protection as other British citizens.

London's High Court - the unlikely setting for a ruling on an Australian being held in an American military jail. The decision is a breakthrough for the man Washington wants to put on trial as an enemy fighter.

The result is that the judge has ruled that David Hicks is entitled to that David Hicks is entitled to be registered as a British citizen. That opens the way to freedom from the military jail where Hicks has been held since being captured with Taliban forces in Afghanistan four years ago. Under a deal signed with Washington British subjects are spared America's military justice system. Nine have already been set free under the agreement. David Hicks will now be a British citizen. He should receive the same benefit. We would be delighted if the Australian Government would do for him, as an Australian citizen, what the British Government has done for its citizens. The decision has not altered our view. As for what the British Government does is a matter for the British Government. Hicks' solicitor says they've won the battle, but not the war. They got the ruling they wanted here,

but the High Court also gave the British Government leave to appeal, which means, for the moment, Hicks remains in a legal black hole. It's a good feeling at this point. But, as I say, we've still got some bridges to get over yet. The next step is for Hicks to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen

in the presence of a British diplomat - difficult, given the time of year difficult, given the time of year and where he's being held. Sydney's next major toll road opens on Friday but drivers are being urged not to be too eager to use it. After the Cross City Tunnel fiasco, operators of the M7, Westlink, fear a rush could cause traffic snarls they don't need.

Down to finishing touches - greenery for Sydney's newest piece of blacktop.

After 2.5 years and $1.5 billion the 40km Westlink M7 now faces one of its most complex challenges. There are 17 interchanges and 51 ramps to open. Starting Friday morning, it will take 12 hours to complete from the M2 at Blacktown, to the M5 north of Campbelltown. Drivers have been urged not to line up to be first on. If people start queuing and they queue back into the local roads they start blocking local roads - inconvenience for other users. The motorway will be toll free for a month.

After that drivers pay electronically, according to how far they travel - from 0.40c to $6. And they'll be sharing with lots of trucks,

as the M7 makes moving freight around Sydney easier and cheaper. We believe it's going to create around 24,000 new jobs and bring in an additional $3 billion worth of investment.

Sydney's longest stretch of new roadway will also be one of its most closely watched. monitored here in the control centre There are more than 80 cameras being monitored here in the control centre looking out for crashes, and even spotting bushfires for the Rural Fire Service.

The operators won't say when, but eventually, the M7 will carry 120,000 vehicles a day. Still ahead - Steve Vizard confronts intruders in his home. Also, a skydiver's terrifying fall to earth

after her parachute fails to open. And Heath Ledger to take on Russell Crowe at the Golden Globes.

Excludes underwear, socks, hosiery and sleepwear.

The Premier has admitted the State Budget the State Budget is $300 million short of forecasts. Morris Iemma will release a review next week

showing the books are balanced for now but a $500 million deficit next financial year. The GST rip-off, the downturn in the housing and property market

and the challenges of meeting wage demands in a global city - these are the pressures and the challenges. The government is under renewed pressure over its controversial desalination plant at Kurnell. A survey commissioned

by an alliance of councils, environment and community groups

suggests 70% of Sydneysiders don't want it built. Disgraced businessman Steve Vizard has tackled a burglar during a break-in at his Melbourne home. The former TV comedian chased the thief from his daughter's bedroom, later discovering several computers and telephones had been stolen. There'll be one video where Steve Vizard shares centre stage.

A real life, without-a-script drama, and very little comedy involved - all of it shot on a security camera. There was a bit contact with the people involved, and it's just one of those things. It started when 16-year-old Stephanie woke to find a man in her room. I pretended I was asleep because I thought it might have been one of my brother's friends.

I was kind of like... Then I realised it wasn't,

Then another guy came into the house and Dad chased him out and almost ran over him. My daughter got pretty upset, so... ..she alerted us and then we contacted police

Dads's an action hero. Luckily he's

big and tough and strong. We'll

make a fresh start next year.

An American skydiver has told how she thought she was going to die An American when her reserve parachute failed to open two months ago.

This video shows how Shayna Richardson plunged to earth at 80km/h before landing, head first, in a car park. In the hit, I eggshelled my entire face. Everything through here got eggshelled and I broke my pelvis in two places and I broke the fibula in my right leg. Shayna didn't know at the time she was two weeks pregnant. The baby also survived and is due in June. Australia's Heath Ledger and Russell Crowe will battle it out for Best Actor honours as Hollywood's award season gets under way. Ledger's gay cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain,

leads the Golden Globes field with seven nominations. Almost at the same time, Brokeback Mountain is receiving both acclaim and criticism for being no ordinary western. In it, Heath Ledger plays a gay cowboy. MOVIE CLIP: The bottom line is, we're around each other and this thing grabs hold of us again. The drama grabbed seven nominations. It's a real honour to be part of a movie that's been, obviously, received as it is. Yeah, it's nice. Ledger wasn't the only Australian name called out. Best performance by an actor in a motion picture drama - Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man.

For $250, I would fight your wife. Crowe was nominated for his portrayal of a boxer, scraps could have cost him. despite concerns his off-screen

didn't have it all their own way. But this year, Australians from the nominations, Several names were missing most notably, Naomi Watts. (screams) her role in the remake of King Kong. She was considered a chance for He hasn't got a clue. Does he know yet? Lost and those Desperate Housewives, Television was again dominated by with four Best Actress nominations. with four Best Actress nominations.

a raft of new shows, Also nominated, including dramas Prison Break...

to get outside those walls... Say you were able ..Commander in Chief and the comedy, My Name is Earl. and good things happen to you. Do good things our resident cowboy, Matthew White. Time for sport with in Rugby League. The drinking debate continues

Gidup sister. Let's get on to the

drinking debate in rugby. You've

never seen me line dance? No, but

imagine you're Billy Ray Sirus. Wayne Bennett has got it wrong. The NRL says More on that shortly. before the first Test. Also tonight, the Aussies finetune And are they turning into speedboats? It's machines versus manpower in the Sydney-Hobart. just isn't Christmas For me, Christmas ..fantastic cherries... DOORBELL CHIMES Look at me. ..and my favourite, the prawns. I can't get enough of them. So I've got more time... WOMAN: No running, kids! ..for the special things. (All squeal)

Australian paceman Glenn McGrath first Test against South Africa is a likely starter in Friday's at the WACA. this afternoon, He was put through his paces in Perth

still recovering from the flu. aren't getting too close, yet. But his team-mates but he's alright, I think. Problems for South Africa, though,

Jacques Kallis with the world's No.1 batsman still nursing an elbow injury. REPORTER: Do you think you'll play? I hope so. We're monitoring it and doing some good work on it. and trying to get there Still a good chance. until just before the match Kallis will be given to prove his fitness. Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett's claims The NRL has hit back at out of control in Rugby League. that drinking is a culture alcohol is a problem, NRL boss David Gallop admits

but says the League can't be criticised for what it's trying to do to stop it. track record of imposing penalties, The clubs and the League have got a where that's appropriate. to have all the answers. But we don't purport to not occasionally have problems. We don't expect We don't expect

the culture is changing. Bennett's own players say

for anyone to behave themselves, I guess it's not too hard to behave ourselves in public. so we shouldn't find it too hard

allegations of binge drinking Officials have also refuted on the Kangaroo tour. There's a raging debate to this year's Rolex Sydney-Hobart in the lead-up technology versus tradition. and it's all about man or machine, sailing boats into power boats. Critics say hydraulics are turning whatever they can to finish first. But yachties say they'll use 4... 3... 2...

The countdown is on. searching for extra speed, Crews are finetuning, lagging behind frontrunners, but Konica Minolta is already Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats. on their mast They've got four metres more height and they've got 30% more stability to probably about 30% of speed. which equates Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats can handle more speed because of a moving hydraulic keel underneath

which gives extra balance. technology is ruining tradition. Some say You know, five years time and doing it by remote control. we'll be sitting at home You know, personally, I think it is ruining the sport. raw manpower to work these sails. Konica Minolta still uses Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats, But on board its main competition, they use electric hydraulics that's just not sailing. and some say muscles get tired. But hydraulics keep on going - out of the boat I like to push the maximum that I'm on the bloody thing, every second to do that 24 hours a day. so it's a matter of being able technology can't beat Mother Nature. One thing is certain - Konica Minolta was leading last year coming off a huge wave. until it snapped, a Formula One car - It's a little bit like once they break down, there's little you can do. You can buy technology, but you can't buy luck.

Notice how Nick started strong but

finished very quickly. Good

grinding for a beginner. He was

talking too. I'll have Sydney's weather after the break, but first, finance. The share market closed higher. Telstra shares rose 3c not to prosecute the telco after ASIC's decision of share-market disclosure rules. despite concerns about breaches

Qantas shares gained more than 3% to order 115 new Boeing jets. after the company announced plans will be redoing their gardening, For Christmas I think people for summer. getting their outdoor settings

If you happen to find a cheaper price on a stocked item, we'll beat it by 10%. is a toyshop for adults. I think Bunnings definitely SONG: # Bunnings Warehouse. # this Christmas at Kmart, You'll be wrapped

So hurry into Kmart.

The sun shone throughout the day

a little mild around our beaches. although temperatures were below average Maximums were kept one or two degrees thanks to a cool south-easterly. for the Top End. Showers and storms are forecast in Adelaide and Melbourne. Thundery showers are also expected Fine in the other capitals. We're in for a fine and warm night across greater Sydney. ahead of another sunny day Looking further ahead, on Friday and Saturday there's a chance of storms Sunday. before returning to fine weather Sunday. before returning to fine weather And that's Seven News to now. I'm Chris Bath. Goodnight. Thanks for your company. disorder at just six years old. This little girl developed an eating

are we doing to our children? What on earth I'm Anna Coren. Hello, and welcome to Today Tonight. Amy's weight battle in a moment. really think of us Also, what do migrants about them? and what do we really think

welcoming. I think the Australians are very

The results may surprise you. Plus, Una knows all about injustice.

Her house was stolen from under her the government won't give it back. and now

It's a year and a half and you

haven't paid her any money. Why